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LINES TO W. L., ESQ.,

SONNET.

WHILE HE SANG A SONG TO PURCELL'S MUSIC.

While my young cheek retains its healthful hues,

And I have many friends who hold me dear;

L-! methinks, I would not often hear
Such melodies as thine, lest I should lose
All memory of the wrongs and sore distress,

For which my miserable brethren weep!

But should uncomforted misfortunes steep
My daily bread in tears and bitterness;
And if at death's dread moment I should lie

With no beloved face at my bed-side,
To fix the last glance of my closing eye,
Methinks, such strains, breathed by my angel-

guide,
Would make me pass the cup of anguish by,

Mix with the blest, nor know that I had died !

COMPOSED ON A JOURNEY HOMEWARD; THE AUTHOR

HAVING RECEIVED INTELLIGENCE OF THE BIRTH

OF A SON, SEPTEMBER 20, 1796.
Oft o'er my brain does that strange fancy roll
Which makes the present (while the flash doth

last)
Seem a mere semblance of some unknown past,
Mix'd with such feelings, as perplex the soul
Self-question’d in her sleep; and some have said*

We lived ere yet this robe of flesh we wore.

O my sweet baby! when I reach my door,
If heavy looks shall tell me thou art dead,

(As sometimes, through excess of hope, I fear,) I think that I should struggle to believe

Thou wert a spirit, to this nether sphere Sentenced for some more venial crime to grieve; Didst scream,

then spring to meet Heaven's quick

reprieve,
While we wept idly o'er thy little bier!

ADDRESSED TO A YOUNG MAN OF FOR

TUNE,

WHO ABANDONED HIMSELF TO AN INDOLENT AND

SONNET.
CAUSELESS MELANCHOLY.

TO A FRIEND WHO ASKED, HOW I FELT WHEN THE HENCE that fantastic wantonness of wo

NURSE FIRST PRESENTED MY INFANT TO ME. O youth to partial fortune vainly dear!

CHARLES! my slow heart was only sad, when first To plunder'd want's half-shelter'd hovel go,

I scann'd that face of feeble infancy: Go, and some hunger-bitten infant hear

For dimly on my thoughtful spirit burst
Moan haply in a dying mother's ear:

All I had been, and all my child might be !
Or when the cold and dismal fog-damps brood But when I saw it on its mother's arm,
O'er the rank churchyard with sere elm leaves

And hanging at her bosom (she the while
strew'd,

Bent o’er its features with a tearful smile,) Pace round some widow's grave, whose dearer part Then I was thrill'd and melted, and most warm Was slaughter'd, where o'er his uncoffin'd limbs

Impress'd a father's kiss: and all beguiled The flocking flesh-birds scream'd! Then, while

Of dark remembrance and presageful fear, thy heart

I seemd to see an angel form appearGroans, and thine eye a fiercer sorrow dims,

'Twas even thine, beloved woman mild! Know (and the truth shall kindle thy young mind)

So for the mother's sake the child was dear, What nature makes thee mourn, she bids thee heal!

And dearer was the mother for the child.
O abject! is, to sickly dreams resign’d,
All effortless thou leave life's commonweal
A prey to tyrants, murderers of mankind.

THE VIRGIN'S CRADLE HYMN.

COPIED FROM A PRINT OF THE VIRGIN IN A

CATHOLIC VILLAGE IN GERMANY.

SONNET TO THE RIVER OTTER.

DORMI, Jesu! Mater ridet,
Quæ tam dulcem somnum videt,

Dormi, Jesu! blandule!
Si non dormis, Mater plorat,
Inter fila cantans orat

Blande, veni, somnule.

ENGLISH.

DEAR native brook! wild streamlet of the west!

How many various-fated years have past,

What happy, and what mournful hours, since last
I skimm’d the smooth thin stone along thy breast,
Numbering its light leaps ! yet so deep imprest
Sink the sweet scenes of childhood, that mine eyes

I never shut amid the sunny ray,
But straight with all their tints thy waters rise,
Thy crossing plank, thy marge with willows

gray,
And bedded sand that vein'd with various dyes
Gleam'd through thy bright transparence! On my

way, Visions of childhood! oft have ye beguiled Lone manhood's cares, yet waking fondest sighs:

Ah! that once more I were a careless child!

Sleep, sweet babe! my cares beguiling,
Mother sits beside thee smiling:

Sleep, my darling, tenderly!
If thou sleep not, mother mourneeth,
Singing as her wheel she turnetin:

Come, soft slumber, balmily!

* Ην που ημων η ψυχη πριν εν τωδε τω ανθρωπινω ειδει γενεσθαι.

PLAT'. in Pradan.

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Some hoary-headed friend, perchance,

May gaze with stifled breath, And oft, in momentary trance,

Forget the waste of death.

E’en thus a lovely rose I view'd

In summer-swelling pride ; Nor mark'd the bud, that green and rude

Peep'd at the rose's side.

It chanced, I pass'd again that way

In autumn's latest hour, And wondering saw the selfsame spray

Rich with the selfsame flower.

She listen'd to the tale divine,

And closer still the babe she press’d;
And while she cried, the babe is mine!

The milk rush'd faster to her breast:
Joy rose within her, like a summer morn;
Peace, peace on earth! the Prince of peace is born.
Thou mother of the Prince of

peace, Poor, simple, and of low estate! That strife should vanish, battle cease,

O why should this thy soul elate ? Sweet music's loudest note, the poet's story,Didst thou ne'er love to hear of fame and glory?

And is not war a youthful king,

A stately hero clad in mail?
Beneath his footsteps laurels spring;

Him earth's majestic monarchs hail
Their friend, their playmate! and his bold brighteye
Compels the maiden's love-confessing sigh.

Ah fond deceit! the rude green bud

Alike in shape, place, name, Had bloom'd, where bloom'd its parent stud,

Another and the same!

EPITAPH ON AN INFANT.

Its balmy lips the infant blest Relaxing from its mother's breast, How sweet it heaves the happy sigh Of innocent satiety!

“ Tell this in some more courtly scene,

To maids and youths in robes of state ! I am a woman poor and mean,

And therefore is my soul elate. War is a ruffian, all with guilt defiled, That from the aged father tears his child !

And such my infant's latest sigh! O tell, rude stone! the passer by, That here the pretty babe doth lie, Death sang to sleep with lullaby.

* A bolanical mistake. The plant which the poet here describes is called the han's tongue,

LINES TO W. L., ESQ.,

SONNET.

WHILE HE SANG A SONG TO PURCELL'S MUSIC.

WHILE my young cheek retains its healthful hues,

And I have many friends who hold me dear;

L-methinks, I would not often hear
Such melodies as thine, lest I should lose
All memory of the wrongs and sore distress,

For which my miserable brethren weep!

But should uncomforted misfortunes steep
My daily bread in tears and bitterness;
And if at death's dread moment I should lie

With no beloved face at my bed-side,
To fix the last glance of my closing eye,
Methinks, such strains, breathed by my angel-

guide,
Would make me pass the cup of anguish by,

Mix with the blest, nor know that I had died !

COMPOSED ON A JOURNEY HOMEWARD; THE AUTHOR

HAVING RECEIVED INTELLIGENCE OF THE BIRTH

OF A SON, SEPTEMBER 20, 1796.
OFT o'er my brain does that strange fancy roll
Which makes the present (while the flash doth

last)
Seem a mere semblance of some unknown past,
Mix'd with such feelings, as perplex the soul
Self-question'd in her sleep; and some have said*

We lived ere yet this robe of flesh we wore.

O my sweet baby! when I reach my door, If heavy looks shall tell me thou art dead,

(As sometimes, through excess of hope, I fear,) I think that I should struggle to believe

Thou wert a spirit, to this nether sphere
Sentenced for some more venial crime to grieve;
Didst scream, then spring to meet Heaven's quick

reprieve,
While we wept idly o’er thy little bier!

ADDRESSED TO A YOUNG MAN OF FOR

TUNE,

WHO ABANDONED HIMSELF TO AN INDOLENT AND

SONNET.
CAUSELESS MELANCHOLY.

TO A FRIEND WHO ASKED, HOW I FELT WHEN THE HENCE that fantastic wantonness of wo

NURSE FIRST PRESENTED MY INFANT TO ME. O youth to partial sortune vainly dear!

CHARLES! my slow heart was only sad, when first To plunder'd want's half-shelter'd hovel go,

I scann'd that face of feeble infancy: Go, and some hunger-bitten infant hear

For dimly on my thoughtful spirit burst Moan haply in a dying mother's ear:

All I had been, and all my child might be ! Or when the cold and dismal fog-damps brood

But when I saw it on its mother's arm, O'er the rank churchyard with sere elm leaves

And hanging at her bosom (she the while strew'd,

Bent o'er its features with a tearful smile,) Pace round some widow's grave, whose dearer part Then I was thrilld and melted, and most warm Was slaughter'd, where o'er his uncoffin'd limbs

Impress'd a father's kiss: and all beguiled The flocking flesh-birds scream'd! Then, while

Of dark remembrance and presageful fear, thy heart

I seem'd to see an angel form appearGroans, and thine eye a fiercer sorrow dims,

'Twas even thine, beloved woman mild ! Know (and the truth shall kindle thy young mind)

So for the mother's sake the child was dear, What nature makes thee mourn, she bids thee heal!

And dearer was the mother for the child.
O abject! is, to sickly dreams resign’d,
All effortless thou leave life's commonweal
A prey to tyrants, murderers of mankind.

THE VIRGIN'S CRADLE HYMN.

COPIED FROM A PRINT OF THE VIRGIN IS A

CATHOLIC VILLAGE IN GERMANY.

SONNET TO THE RIVER OTTER.

DORMI, Jesu! Mater ridet,
Quæ tam dulcem somnum videt,

Dormi, Jesu! blandule !
Si non dormis, Mater plorat,
Inter fila cantans orat

Blande, veni, somnule.

ENGLISH.

DEAR native brook! wild streamlet of the west!

How many various-fated years have past,

What happy, and what mournful hours, since last
I skimm'd the smooth thin stone along thy breast,
Numbering its light leaps ! yet so deep imprest
Sink the sweet scenes of childhood, that mine eyes

I never shut amid the sunny ray,
But straight with all their tints thy waters rise,
Thy crossing plank, thy marge with willows

gray,
And bedded sand that vein'd with various dyes
Gleam'd through thy bright transparence! On my

way, Visions of childhood! oft have ye beguiled Lone manhood's cares, yet waking fondest sighs :

Ah! that once more I were a careless child!

Sleep, sweet babe! my cares beguiling,
Mother sits beside thee smiling :

Sleep, my darling, tenderly!
If thou sleep not, mother mournqeth,
Singing as her wheel she turneth:

Come, soft slumber, balmily!

* Ην που ημων η ψυχη πριν εν τωδε τω ανθρωπινω ειδει γενεσθαι.

Platt. in Plader

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Some hoary-headed friend, perchance,

May gaze with stifled breath, And oft, in momentary trance,

Forget the waste of death.

They told her how a glorious light,

Streaming from a heavenly throng, Around them shone, suspending night!

While, sweeter than a mother's song, Blest angels beralded the Saviour's birth, Glory to God on high ! and peace on earth.

E’en thus a lovely rose I view'd

In summer-swelling pride ; Nor mark'd the bud, that green and rude

Peep'd at the rose's side.

It chanced, I pass'd again that way

In autumn's latest hour, And wondering saw the selfsame spray

Rich with the selfsame fower.

She listen’d to the tale divine,

And closer still the babe she press'd;
And while she cried, the babe is mine!

The milk rush'd faster to her breast:
Joy rose within her, like a summer morn;
Peace, peace on earth! the Prince of peace is born.

Thou mother of the Prince of peace,

Poor, simple, and of low estate !
That strife should vanish, battle cease,

O why should this thy soul elate ?
Sweet music's loudest note, the poet's story,
Didst thou ne'er love to hear of fame and glory?

And is not war a youthful king,

A stately hero clad in mail ?
Beneath his footsteps laurels spring;

Him earth's majestic monarchs hail
Their friend, their playmate! and his bold bright eye
Compels the maiden's love-confessing sigh.

Ah fond deceit! the rude green bud

Alike in shape, place, name, Had bloom'd, where bloom'd its parent stud,

Another and the same!

EPITAPH ON AN INFANT.

Its balmy lips the infant blest Relaxing from its mother's breast, How sweet it heaves the happy sigh Of innocent satiety !

“ Tell this in some more courtly scene,

To maids and youths in robes of state ! I am a woman poor and mean,

And therefore is my soul elate. War is a ruffian, all with guilt defiled, That from the aged father tears his child !

And such my infant's latest sigh! O tell, rude stone ! the passer by, That here the pretty babe doth lie, Death sang to sleep with lullaby.

* A bolanical mistake. The plant which the poet hero describes is called the hart's tongue,

“A murderous fiend, by fiends adored, Which, as she gazed on some nigh-finish'd vase,

He kills the sire and starves the son ; Retreating slow, with meditative pause, The husband kills, and from her board

She form’d with restless hands unconsciously! Steals all his widow's toil had won ; Blank accident! nothing's anomaly ! Plunders God's world of beauty ; rends away If rootless thus, thus substanceless thy state, All safety from the night, all comfort from the day. Go, weigh thy dreams, and be thy hopes, thy fears,

The counter-weights !—Thy laughter and thy tears “ Then wisely is my soul elate,

Mean but themselves, each fittest to create, That strife should vanish, battle cease:

And to repay the other! Why rejoices I'm poor and of a low estate,

Thy heart with hollow joy for hollow good? The mother of the Prince of peace.

Why cowl thy face beneath the mourner's bood, Joy rises in me, like a summer's morn:

Why waste thy sighs, and thy lamenting voices, Peace, peace on earth! the Prince of peace is born!”

Image of image, ghost of ghostly elf,
That such a thing as thou feel'st warm or cold!
Yet what and whence thy gain if thou withhold

These costless shadows of thy shadowy self?
TELL'S BIRTHPLACE.

Be sad! be glad! be neither! seek, or shun! IMITATED FROM STOLBERG.

Thou hast no reason why! Thou canst have none:

Thy being's being is a contradiction.
MARK this holy chapel well!
The birthplace, this, of William Tell.
Here, where stands God's altar dread,
Stood his parents' marriage bed.

ELEGY,
Here first, an infant to her breast,

IMITATED FROM ONE OF AKERSIDE'S BLANK VERSE Him his loving mother prest;

INSCRIPTIONS.
And kiss'd the babe, and bless'd the day,
And pray'd as mothers used to pray:

Near the lone pile with ivy overspread,

Fast by the rivulet's sleep-persuading sound, “ Vouchsafe him health, O God, and give

Where “sleeps the moonlight” on yon verdant The child, thy servant, still to live !"

bedBut God has destined to do more

O humbly press that consecrated ground!
Through him, than through an armed power.
God gave him reverence of laws,

For there does Edmund rest, the learned swain ! Yet stirring blood in freedom's cause

And there his spirit most delights to rove: A spirit to his rocks akin,

Young Edmund ! famed for each harmonious strair, The eye of the hawk, and the fire therein !

And the sore wounds of ill-requited love. To nature and to holy writ

Like some tall tree that spreads its branches wide, Alone did God the boy commit:

And loads the west wind with its soft perfume, Where flash'd and roar'd the torrent, oft His manhood blossom’d: till the faithless pride His soul found wings, and soar'd aloft!

Of fair Matilda sank him to the tomb. 'The straining oar and chamois chase

But soon did righteous Heaven her guilt pursue ! Had form’d his limbs to strength and grace: Where'er with wilderd steps she wander'd pale, On wave and wind the boy would toss, Still Edmund's image rose to blast her view, Was great, nor knew how great he was ! Still Edmund's voice accused her in each gale. He knew not that his chosen hand, Made strong by God, his native land

With keen regret, and conscious guilt's alarms, Would rescue from the shameful yoke

Amid the pomp of affluence she pined: Of slavery—the which he broke!

Nor all that lured her faith from Edmund's arms

Could lull the wakeful horror of her mind.
Go, traveller! tell the tale with sorrow fraught:

Some tearful maid, perchance, or blooming youth
HUMAN LIFE.

May hold it in remembrance; and be taught

That riches cannot pay for love or truth.
ON THE DENIAL OF IMMORTALITY.

THE VISIT OF THE GODS.

IMITATED FROM SCHILLER.

IF dead, we cease to be ; if total gloom

Swallow up life's brief flash for aye, we fare As summer gusts, of sudden birth and doom,

Whose sound and motion not alone declare,
But are their whole of being! If the breath

Be life itself, and not its task and tent,
If e'en a soul like Milton's can know death,

O man! thou vessel, purposeless, unmeant,
Yet drone-hive strange of phantom purposes !

Surplus of nature's dread activity,

Never, believe me,
Appear the immortals,

Never alone:
Scarce had I welcomed the sorrow-beguiler,
Jacchus! but in came boy Cupid the smiler ;

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